Hi

I am curently reviewing our induction programme within our business. For most of the business we have a one day generic induction course and then they return to their department for further specifc training from their line manager. For our branch sales staff we have a structured 20 week programme that takes new starters through a mixture of classroom training and on the job tasks to complete week by week until their probation period is completed.

I was keen to find out what induction success people have had? Is there even a need for a structured programme at all?

What has worked well?

 

Really appreciate your thoughts

 

 

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Hi Tom.  the structured programme question is an interesting one as in our experience, there's a place for a framework or scaffold that does contain a selection of focussed formal learning but that allows interaction, contextualisation and sharing through well placed informal activities.  When we developed the IPA Foundation Certificate which is the accredited induction programme for new advertising and media graduates, the design principle was to create an online programme that supported a new entrant in the first 3-4 months of their time in their agency.  So rather than a workshop when they join, they had a programme that supported those all important first few months in role.  This means the content builds and is relevant to how they are growing, the types of questions they will have and what they need to know next as their experience builds.  Around this, you interject opportunities for your new entrants to discuss and share their experience, building that real world view and also establish good practices in collaboration and knowledge sharing from the outset.  This is a model that has been used in all sorts of induction environments, the content can comprise of e-learning, ebooks, podcasts, videos, quizzes, templates (often much of the material all ready exists so it's more a case of creating good learning paths then spending lots of reworking existing stuff).  Hope this helps

Thanks Lisa, really useful thoughts on effective induction. The feedback we have received from users is they really like the framework to structure their learning and this is something we will look to continue.

A lot of emphasis is placed on our managers to support the new starters in their development but I like your idea of collaborative learning and knowledge sharing, this is something we could look to build in to induction to help people share experiences with each other as well as just their managers.

Thanks again

Hi Tom,

We have a combined approach of a workshop for the individuals very first few days in the business and then a series of workplace learning materials to support them through their first 6 months.

The struggle we have with branch sales people is getting the engagement from them and their line manager to do these follow up activities.

What industry are you working in? it would be interesting to see if different things work in different industries?

Thanks

John

 

Hi John

 

Thanks for your reply

 

We work financial services in a building society Learning & development department.We see the same problems with getting engagement from both the individuals and their line manager when they are back in their branches. As you can guess from a building society environment the managers want them serving customers asap and sometimes lose sight of the value of training outside of the classroom.

 

It sounds as if we have a programme similar to yours to provide classroom training broken up over several weeks with an opportunity to practce key skills back in role before the next classroom event.

 

With your 6 month time frame that you use is that to coincide with a probation period for new starters?

 

What have you tried so far to solve the issue with engagement from staff? Has anyone else had success with this?

 

Kind regards

 

Tom

 

Hi Tom

Yes the idea is that the content has been created to help new starters achieve their probationary objectives and improve our speed to competence. it sounds like we are facing similar challenges around engagement for the same reasons.

We are working through a data analysis piece at the moment that should give us some clear measures that we can share with our estate to show the impact of the learning.

I'd be interested to hear what others have tried? and what successes they have had along the way?

Interested to read some of the issues with engagement and ongoing commitment to the programme. One of the issues we often discuss with our clients and have observed on many occasions is by virtue of having workshops, any ongoing material be it online or anything else is in danger of being classified as 'pre-workshop' or 'post-workshop' so it's not taken all that seriously. It's a change in approach but after an initial kick off (which can be a face to face event but again, by virtue of different starters on different dates, isn't always the case), the programme is very much a learning path and the kick off explores this and sets the objectives and expectation. For a programme like this to work, it requires someone who cares i.e. some facilitation so that learners feel someone cares about the programme, is there as a constant presence and can give the occasion kick if needed! It can actually be quite a light touch, but it really helps. I would also strongly advocate a cohort approach to new starters during a defined period go on the programme together, which further enhances the quality and intensity of dialogue and engagement with the programme.

A change in approach like this does require some change for sure, but the result is a much more sustainable, flexible and cost effective programme as a result.

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